Picture of the author standing near Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

tl;dr tinkerer, can fix/operate anything electr{ical, onic}, know some languages, operated a nuclear reactor, UT Austin MS SWE. Contact info at bottom.

I like to tinker. I like to know how stuff works. I will yak shave the hell out of everything. I live in Austin, TX (r/austin will insist I live in Greater Austin, but they’re also pedants), Charlotte, NC (r/Charlotte will not care that I live in a suburb, because they aren’t as pedantic as Austinites) or close enough to it to not matter. I’m an Associate Site Reliability Engineer Database Reliability Engineer at LogicMonitor Zapier, which if you’ve been reading this blog since the start, means I was successful at pivoting my career. woot, or whatever kids these days say.

I’ve been playing with computers since I was about six, with a Macintosh Plus, progressing to an IBM 286, a Gateway 2000 (yes, they once had the numerical suffix) 486, and then a succession of increasingly modern computers. I didn’t jump on the Mac train (the Plus doesn’t count, let’s be honest) until 2015 or so, because I’m stubborn, and hate myself. My base-spec M1 Air is the best laptop, maybe computer, that I have ever owned in my life. Absolute game-changer in hardware.

I have ~two decades of experience with Linux, and while I’ve given up Gentoo for Debian, I can still probably bootstrap a system if needed. I’m pretty decent with Windows and MacOS.

In descending order, I’m not bad at Python, Shell, MySQL, Postgres, Javascript, and C. I can and have muddled my way through Java, and C/C++, but I’m far more interested in Go than I am in those and have come around to despising Go. The Rust people have yet to hook me. Docker is amazing, and everything on my server is containerized. Kubernetes is even more amazing easy until it isn’t, at which point it’s massively complicated, and I can now say I’ve joined the cool kids and run a cluster at home.

I built this website on AWS EC2 because I’m running other blogs in a multi-blog image that already existed as an AMI, and at the time, it made more sense than self-hosting. Might change in the future. GitHub Pages via Hugo, because I’m come to appreciate simplicity for things that should just work. I run a 25U 35U rack at my house with compute handled by Kubernetes, and storage handled with Debian/ZFS/Ceph.

My past experience includes a decade in the Navy Nuclear Power Program, operating a nuclear reactor on a Virginia-class submarine, and then teaching future sailors on troubleshooting I&C equipment to a component level. If you happen to need VMEbus equipment fixed, I’m your guy. I also had a brief stint as an Electrical Distribution Engineer, where I busied myself automating tasks that I found annoying. I played a lot with GIS, APIs, and VBA. If you need to know how much you can overload a transformer of rating V and type W by X% for duration Y during time_of_year Z, I’m also your guy.

Congrats if you’ve read this far.

My hobbies are brewing beer (BIAB is perfectly adequate, I’ll fight you), photography (Canon), and electronic sundries. I also like hiking, as evidenced by the obligatory picture. That was taken at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have other, more impressive pictures available upon request.

Please feel free to email me at stephan@sgarland.dev, or visit my LinkedIn.